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Teacher of the Week: A look back at 2013

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- From shocked to silent...even dancing. Each Teacher of the Week reacts differently to the surprise news when our cameras show up in his or her classroom.

Tara Cumbee teaches at Virginia Williamson Elementary. She's known for being loud and outgoing, but when we popped in: "gosh, I can talk all day long and I don't have the words," she smiled.

Though the reactions vary with each teacher, room and school. One thing is the same for all of our teachers nominated by viewers. They all leave lasting impressions on their students and parents. We surprised Vicki Lapp at Ogden Elementary September 25, "I hope I don't start crying. I'm very touched by that. And humbled. It means a lot to me that someone whom I have taught and parents of children I have taught feel that i'm worthy of that, it means a lot to me and I will always treasure it."

For some teachers, it is their endless hours teaching and tutoring that gets them noticed. Ashley High School Chemistry teacher said, "We're always doing something and they know that, if its not a lab if it's a review if its working in groups if its learning something new we're always moving."

For other teachers, especially those working with special needs children, it is their bond with the kids. Joseph Innella works with special needs children at Sunset Park Elementary. "When you have them for so long you can read their emotions you can understand when they're sick when they're tired or just in a bad mood," he said.

Then there are those teachers who get children pumped up to learn with silly themes or quirky routines. North Topsail Elementary teacher Penny Wolff explained hers. "I have a greeter as one of their jobs," she laughed, "and so when you come into the room hopefully they'll say welcome to the wolf pack."

WWAY has recognized 16 teachers so far for the 2013-2014 school year and looks forward to honoring many more! In case you missed it, here are the teachers we've surprised this year. And you can always find their segments on our website by searching their names.

Brita Clarkson, Williston Middle School
Laura Moffitt, Lincoln Elementary
Katie Diehl, Central Middle School
Vicki Lapp, Ogden Elementary
Kelly Feamster, Town Creek Elementary
David Tyson, Murray Middle School
Brian Gross, Roland Grise Middle School
Penny Wolff, North Topsail Elementary
Suzanne Sexton, Ashley High School
Tara Cumbee, Virginia Williamson Elementary
Meagan Thomas, Wrightsville Beach Elementary
Tracy Swick, Winter Park Elementary
Alfredia Dorm, Cape Fear Middle
Joseph Innella, Sunset Park Elementary
Cecelia Lagrange, Bradley Creek Elementary
Nicole Graves, Murrayville Middle School

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